FYI December 23 & 24, 2021

On This Day

1876 – First day of the Constantinople Conference which resulted in agreement for political reforms in the Balkans.
The 1876–77 Constantinople Conference (Turkish: Tersane Konferansı “Shipyard Conference”, after the venue Tersane Sarayı “Shipyard Palace”) of the Great Powers (Austria-Hungary, Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Russia) was held in Constantinople (now Istanbul)[1] from 23 December 1876 until 20 January 1877. Following the beginning of the Herzegovinian Uprising in 1875 and the April Uprising in April 1876, the Great Powers agreed on a project for political reforms in Bosnia and in the Ottoman territories with a majority-Bulgarian population.[2]

1818 – The first performance of “Silent Night” takes place in the church of St. Nikolaus in Oberndorf, Austria.[10]
“Silent Night” (German: “Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht”) is a popular Christmas carol, composed in 1818 by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria.[1] It was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2011.[2] The song has been recorded by many singers across many music genres. The version sung by Bing Crosby in 1935 has sold 10 million copies as a single.[3]


Born On This Day

1908 – Gertrude Bancroft, American economist (d. 1985)[10][11]
Gertrude Bancroft McNally (December 23, 1908 – January 28, 1985) was an American economist who was chief of the economic statistics section of the United States Census Bureau until 1951,[3] later associated with the Social Science Research Council,[4] and special assistant to the commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.[5]

Bancroft earned a master’s degree in economics in 1934 from the University of Pennsylvania with a thesis on The effect of the War of 1812 on price relations in Philadelphia.[6] In 1958 she published the book The American Labor Force: Its Growth and Changing Composition (Wiley). This book, part of the Census Monograph Series produced by the Social Science Research Council in cooperation with the Census Bureau, analyzes the results of the 1950 United States Census and associated data to measure the growth and makeup of workers and unemployed people within the US, and discover patterns of change in which kinds of people were working and what they did between 1940 and 1950.[7]

In 1962, she was honored by the American Statistical Association by election as one of their Fellows for “distinguished service to the field of labor force statistics both in the development of objectively measurable concepts and in the promotion of public understanding of the uses and limitations of labor force data”.[8]
1895 – Marguerite Williams, American geologist (died 1991)
Marguerite Thomas Williams (born Marguerite Thomas; December 24, 1895 – August 17, 1991) was an American geologist. She was the first African American to earn a doctorate in geology in the United States.[1]




By Joan Didion, Vogue: On Self-Respect: Joan Didion’s 1961 Essay from the Pages of Vogue

December 23, 2021
Joan Didion, author, journalist, and style icon, died today after a prolonged illness. She was 87 years old. Here, in its original layout, is Didion’s seminal essay “Self-respect: Its Source, Its Power,” which was first published in Vogue in 1961, and which was republished as “On Self-Respect” in the author’s 1968 collection, Slouching Towards Bethlehem.​ Didion wrote the essay as the magazine was going to press, to fill the space left after another writer did not produce a piece on the same subject. She wrote it not to a word count or a line count, but to an exact character count.

Rare Historical Photos: Inside California Alligator Farm where kids could ride and play with alligators, 1920s
Rare Historical Photos: Robert Wadlow: The tallest man in history seen through stunning photographs, 1918-1940
AP News: The world’s best holiday lights
By Colin Marshall, Open Culture: Why “White Christmas,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Let It Snow,” and Other Classic Christmas Songs Come from the 1940s
By Grace Ebert, Colossal: A Montage of 64 Portraits Reveals the Wildly Diverse Characteristics of Foxes
By Peter Grier Staff writer, Noah Robertson Staff writer, The Christian Science Monitor: Why the ’70s are a blueprint – but not a destiny – for the 2020s


By Gabrielle Bienasz, Editorial assistant, Inc.: Some Customers Just Aren’t Worth the HeadacheRyan O’Donnell and Marco DiDomenico learned how to scale Replyify in part by ditching dead weight.
Ryan O’Donnell and Marco DiDomenico know that time is money.

The pair created Cleveland-based Replyify, in 2018, to help salespeople send email campaigns, automate follow ups, and track responses. They’ve managed to grow Replyify to more than 1,500 clients and are on track to book $1 million in revenue in 2021–up from $800,000 in 2020. They owe their success in large part to a very specific customer care strategy: send difficult customers to competitors. “We’re not desperate for every piece of business that comes along,” O’Donnell says.

The founders say that managing angry or difficult customers can suck up two or three extra hours per week, “It’s almost a full day, right?” says O’Donnell; “And if you have that full day to dedicate elsewhere, then how much more could you be doing with a limited team?”

It’s an unorthodox approach, but it works for the co-founders, who essentially run Replyify by themselves. DiDomenico is a full-stack engineer, and O’Donnell, who is the sales and marketing guy, says, “It’s the perfect combination of hacker-hustler.”


Journal of Musical Things: George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” has a news star-studded music video. This is extremely sweet.
By Jody Serrano, Gizmodo: Finnish Man Passes on Paying $22,600 to Replace His Tesla’s Battery, Blows Up Car Instead A Tesla repair shop told a Model S owner that replacing the battery would cost more than $22,600. He decided to stick 66 pound of dynamite on the car.



By Winnie Khamal Macbailey, Food Talk Daily: No- Oven Easy Bread Rolls
Homemade on a Weeknight: Quick Asparagus Fries
Carrie Forrest at Clean Eating Kitchen: Slow Cooker Cabbage
By Becca, Food Talk Daily: Creamy Sweet Potato Gratin




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